Liverpool can already claim to be the UK's capital of music and football . . . but chess? Tom Calverley reports
MOVES to make Liverpool the chess capital of Britain begin next week when the city's World Museum hosts one of Europe's most prestigious tournaments.
Organisers believe the ten-day European Individual Chess Championship showcases the strongest array of talent seen in a competition on British soil for 20 years.
One of the favourites to win the tournament is Nigel Short, the second strongest British player of all time, who challenged legendary Russian legend Gary Kasparov for the right to be crowned the world's top player in the early 90s.
The championship is sponsored by tourism and investment body The Mersey Partnership and the Liverpool Culture Company as part of a campaign to position Liverpool as one of the world's leading chess cities in the run up to 2008.
Professor David Robertson of John Moores University is chairman of the Liverpool Chess Foundation which is overseeing the tournament.
He said: "A year ago we had the idea to broaden the basis of the 2008 Capital of Culture year by staging a number of international chess tournaments to put Liverpool on a par with other European chess cities, such as Turin, Dresden, Zurich and Budapest.